Santa Cruz Flats and Gilbert Water Ranch “Large Day” ⋆ Tucson Audubon Skip to content
Categories: Field Trip
Northern Harrier by Dan Weisz

Santa Cruz Flats and Gilbert Water Ranch “Large Day”

January 20- Friday, 7:00 am- Van Trip to the Santa Cruz Flats & Gilbert Water Ranch

Registration Fee: $100/member, $150/non-member*

Trip difficulty: Easy, but all day birding/driving. Stopping at various points in the flats and birding around the vehicle. About 1 mile walking around the Water Ranch on hard packed, flat trail. No restrooms in the flats, but we’ll stop at a gas station before heading up to Gilbert. Please note, we will ride together in a rented 15-passenger van, no carpooling.

The agricultural fields north of Tucson in the Santa Cruz Flats are usually extremely productive for birds in the winter months and we’ll look for specialties like Ferruginous Hawk, Crested Caracara, Bendire’s Thrasher, Mountain Bluebird, and Sagebrush Sparrow. We’ll finish up in the flats around noon, and then head up to Gilbert Water Ranch to pad the day’s trip list. Who knows what could be showing up at the ranch—anything from Roseate Spoonbill to Black-and-white Warbler, but always lots of ducks and shorebirds. Here’s a trip report from when I’ve done this route in the past. We’ll plan to arrive back in Tucson by 5pm. We’ll supply a lunch, but bring some snacks if you’d like. Limited to 8 participants.
Leader: Luke Safford, (

Register here beginning Nov 12, 7:00 AM. *Why does this event cost money? Your generous support helps us to continue to offer an exceptional array of field trips and programming for the community


Header image: Northern Harrier by Dan Weisz

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7:00 am - 5:00 pm


$100/member, $150/non-member

Trip Features

All Levels,
Outside Tucson,
Paid Trip


Santa Cruz Flats
Luke Safford


Luke Safford

Tucson Audubon Director of Engagement and Education